Monday, September 29, 2008

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

(skip the intro, it kind of drags on..)

I love this guy. I've been listening to him for a while now and I listen to "re:stacks" on repeat every night as I fall asleep. It's the most peaceful song.

I know this was his bigger 'hit' on the album but I wasn't the biggest fan when I first heard it. I guess it grew on me :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Seasons of Change

This past year and past few weeks have been a time of change and transition for myself and so many of my friends. I am reminded over and over that nothing stays the same. We grow up. We move out of our parent’s homes. We move closer to friends. We move away from friends. We are working our way through life meeting the new and leaving the old behind. We are in a continual process of being and becoming. Rollo May said, “In human beings courage is necessary to make being and becoming possible.” We need to be courageous in the process of letting go and handing ourselves over to change and becoming who we are meant to be.

The phrase, “letting go” has been a loaded phrase for me ever since I was a little girl. I never wanted to “let go”. I never wanted things to change.

-I refused to believe my dog would never return after we hadn’t seen him in days. I wasn’t ready to let go.

-Year after year, my mom would make every attempt to get me to throw away my old toys and sentimental keepings. Every year I would plead to keep them, holding on to stuffed animals, birthday cards, and love letters. I wasn’t ready to let go.

-When I left for college, I clung to my friends at home, desperate for the familiar. I would go home any chance I could to be with them.

-After each of my summers in Malawi, I dreaded saying goodbye. The second I set foot on African soil, I was already clinging to hellos and sighing at the thought of goodbye.

-In moving into my studio, I had to get rid of things because it wouldn’t all fit in such a small space. I struggled in choosing what to keep and what to let go. There is security in stuff.

-In my own spiritual and emotional world, I have a plethora of things to let go of. I’ve packed them up and sit upon them, wondering when I will be ready to let them go.

In any season of change, there is letting go, a process of becoming. I find myself holding onto ‘how it was’ because it provides a sense of comfort. There is nothing comfortable about change and growing. It hurts to grow and it’s easier to cling to what you know than to reach out in faith for what could be. There is safety in what we know and fear in what we do not. There is a fear of letting go. As I experience change and transition alongside so many friends and strangers, I am praying that we’ll be able to let go of our fears and embrace this time of growing and becoming. That with each step of faith we would grow in courage. And even in our moments of feeling alone, that we would know deep within our bones that we are never alone. We are kept in the hands of one who will never let us go.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Feels like letting go

This song is speaking to me lately..

Feels like letting go- Matthew Perryman Jones

Oh my love
help me open my heart again
tear it open let the rain fall in
wash this hardness underneath my skin
oh my love
let me hear your voice come through
I wanna know the love inside of you
make this dark heart believe in what is true

I know that in the dark there's a fear of letting go
I know that in my heart that I fear what I don't know

and this feels like I'm letting go
and this feels like I'm letting go
I'm letting go

it's hard to trust
when your hearts been broken times before
you pull the curtains and you lock the doors
swear you'll never go out anymore

well I'm stepping out
I can't see there is no sound
a seeming void becomes a solid ground
I sight I lost becomes a faith I've found

I'm letting go, I'm letting go
I'm letting go, I'm letting go
I'm letting go, I'm letting go
letting go, I'll let it go

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"I help send people to the moon"

I just finished my orientation for my internship this year at Providence. It was a long couple of days in which an overwhelming amount of information was given, but I am one hundred times more excited to be working with such a great organization and to dig into the meat of the job.

In the whole orientation, the last five minutes affected me the most. The woman closing out our time shared a story. She had gone to NASA to visit and tour the site. While in the hallway she passed an older man wheeling a bucket and a mop down the hallway. In an effort to avoid the use of stereotypes and assuming this man must be a janitor, she stopped him and asked, “What is it that you do at NASA?” The man straightened his back and smiled, replying, “I help send people to the moon.” I literally got goose bumps as she shared because isn’t this what we all strive for in life? To make some sort of difference in the world? To know our actions are not lost in the daily grind? I need stories like this and reminders that our actions, no matter how small they may seem ARE making a difference in the big picture. A man can’t get to the moon on his own efforts. He NEEDS those people along the way, taking care of the details, and making a difference.

If we lose perspective on the big picture and the larger story being written, we’re likely to go out of our minds trying to save the world ourselves. Donald Miller said it best when he wrote, “The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is that life is a story about me.” We are but one small part of the story and how blessed are we to even be mentioned in the greatest story ever written.

I am really excited to start my internship. I won’t be saving lives with my own two hands as surgeons and doctors may, in fact I will be on the other side of the equation, working with people who have lost a loved one. People get thrown a little bit when I explain that I am so excited to start grief counseling. It seems like a strange thing to be excited about, but I really am looking forward to being with people in their pain and being there to help them out of the mud and mire of grief. I know I’ve shared this quote before but I presume it will be one of my favorites throughout my career as a social worker and counselor.

"This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds. It struck me that I have spent so much time trying to pump my way into feeling the solace I used to feel in my parents' arms. But pumping always fails you in the end. The truth is that your spirits don’t rise until you get way down. Maybe that's because this-the mud, the bottom-is where it all rises from. Maybe without it, whatever rises would fly off or evaporate before you could even be with it for a moment. But when someone enters that valley with you, that mud, it somehow saves you again." -Anne LaMott

Monday, September 22, 2008

a new day

I’m sitting in my studio, now a furnished studio with a cozy Shannon feel. It’s been a peaceful morning and I needed that. I slept in and woke up slowly. Made some coffee and wrote in my journal for a while. Went to Imago Dei at noon and now here I am just cozied up in a blanket by the window with sunlight pouring through the room, listening to ‘after an afternoon’ on repeat.

There’s something about sunlight that feeds my soul. Maybe it’s because I have spent this past year in the darkness, spiritually and literally. Living in a basement apartment with no light and with no community to breathe life into me, the year inched by at a painfully slow pace. Candle lit and waiting on…I waited patiently for the dawn. Now, with fall inching in on the heels of summer, I can finally feel the beginning of a new day and a new chapter. I feel like life has been breathed back into me.

I am usually against any and all change in my own life. I love the familiar and the comfortable and feeling at home in my city. Right now I am so thankful for change and for newness and for the first time, I believe that change just may be a good thing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

some laughter for your day..

I love Ellen Degeneres. I think she is HILARIOUS! I quote this DVD (Ellen Degeneres: Here and Now) more days than not and if I don't quote it, I'll definitely laugh about it to myself at some point in the day. Everyone should watch it. Laughter is good for the soul.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I found a home, er...a studio!

I am signing a lease tomorrow on a cute little studio. Little as in really little…but also very cute and charming. I am so excited to move in! It's two blocks from work, close to the street car and the bus. It’s small and old and it has hardwood floors and milk boxes and old fashioned phones and lots of sunlight. And oh my word, how I have missed sunlight this year. I’ll be living by myself for the first time in the history of my quarter-century life. Part of me is terrified to live by myself but the other part of me is pretty stoked to spend some time with me in my own space. I have always had roommates and most of the time lots of them. I’ve lived with 11 girls. I’ve lived with 8 girls. I lived with 5 girls. I’ve lived with one other girl. I love having roommates, especially when they are all your favorite people. I’ve been blessed to be able to live with all my favorite people and even work with a majority of them at the same coffee shop. It was heavenly to come home from a long exhausting day and have someone making dinner, someone watching Ellen, someone napping on the couch, someone studying down the street. Someone ready to play. There was always something fun to do and always someone fun to hang out with. It made my entire social life effortless.

Portland has been challenging and a bit of a reality check at times with my lack of community and circle of awesome-ness always around. It felt a bit like a two-by-four to the face, until I realized that community doesn’t always come so easy. I’m excited to challenge my hermit self and get out and find some good Portlanders to be my people. I’ll have to be intentional in making plans and stretching myself, which will be good for me. I can tell. I’ll be in the city and closer to people. I do love people. It reminds me of a Ben Lee lyric, “thinking bout the city, it’s living proof that people need to be together.” People do need to be together. We’re created to be together. And that’s why I’m living by myself…near lots and lots of people…ha. In any case, I’m excited for this year and quality time with me in my new city.

Side note: I’m still reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I’m the slowest reader ever, because I insist on reading at least four books at a time. But here’s a great quote,

“The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful…Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.” –Milan Kundera